Last night, in reverse:
We returned home, tired, but happy that we got to spend time and laugh with our all wonderful friends.
As we drove back home from the city, I became more and more sure that I like “Night on Disco Mountain” (from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack) better than the original–and arguably classier–“Night on Bald Mountain.” Sacrilegous? Perhaps. (Okay, definitely.) But true, nonetheless.
We left Cafe Mozart, and our waiter shot me me one final, imploring glance. His heart… clearly broken.
Our desserts were pretty mediocre (other than the yummy fruit sauces that came with the cheescake), but Sara and I were having fun reliving our first date at Cafe Mozart. Actually, Cafe Mozart was just one of several stops we made that day–on our 14-hour first date. (The final stop, naturally, was my dropping her off for the night. When she literally jumped me in my car–that’s when I knew I was in. ) Looking back at last night’s dessert experience, we can’t figure out how our friends kept themselves from puking every time Sara and I started pawing each other or calling each other “shmoopie.”
The waiter fell madly in love with me. Poor guy; his gaydar must need alignment. The fact that I ordered the frilliest thing on the menu (some kind of hot chocolate pudding drink) probably didn’t help. Or maybe it was my gay shoes? Either way, I’m pretty sure he thought he was getting some that night.
Finally, we all agreed to leave the concert early. We’d seen the first half–and enjoyed it–but we’d had enough. The [all-Russian] program:
Alexander Toradze, Piano
James Wilt, Trumpet
- MUSSORGSKY: St. John’s Night on Bald Mountain (1867)
- SHOSTAKOVICH: Concerto in C minor for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, Op. 35 (1933)
- SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93 (1946-1953)
Every time I go to Avery Fisher Hall, I remember that the last time I’d been there, I’d vowed never to go back. The acoustics are worse than… a dysacoustinasium’s. (I was going to say “cone of silence,” but it didn’t have quite the same ring.)
Actually, I should elaborate on my complaint. I need to clarify that the acoustics from the stage to the audience are horrible… but, as we learned last night, the acoustics in the other direction are fantastic! Better, even, than… a sonification chamber. (I was going to say “The Maparium…”) How did we learn this acoustic trivium? Why, from the dear old woman behind us whose phlegm we now consider a de facto member of the LA Phil.
The Shostakovich concerto was interesting–the first piece I’ve heard featuring trumpet and piano, and definitely a stand-out work. I liked some, but not all of it–though Sara thoroughly enjoyed the whole piece.
Night on Bald Mountain… not a piece we’ve seen on many programs, and one I really like listening to. Alas–and I don’t know whether to blame the hall or the orchestra–the instruments blended together too much, and the piece lost the dramatic tension which characterizes it. The recordings we’ve heard sounded better than the live performance. (Plus, I felt like they played it a bit fast… or was that just me?) Guess I’ll have to stick with Night on Disco Mountain for the time being.
Brad and I raced through the streets to make it to Lincoln Center before the doors closed. After all, Night on Bald Mountain was, for me, the main event, and it was first on the program. We said our hurried good-byes and trotted along.
Met friends for dinner at Caffe La Fenice. (The homemade pasta was decent, if not a bit salty.) Saw my good friend, who I’ve not seen in months and who has since earned his PhD. Since we got there so late, I only got to exchange 12-or-so words with him, which was kind of a bummer; but now that he’s in New York for the summer, I hope we’ll see him again soon.
As we left home and got into the car, sara said, “Oh, you’re wearing your blue shoes.”
Felt like crap all day. Haven’t been sleeping well, and I had to take a nap just to be able to think coherently.